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Windows 7: Any aquarium fans here?

21 Aug 2010   #1
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Any aquarium fans here?

I've got a 6 gallon Marineland Eclipse freshwater fish tank that seems to refuse to cycle. It's been running about 4 months now, I've got 2 red platty's, and a little dwarf water frog. I thought things were going alright, until I noticed i was doing my ammonia test wrong. Well, turns out my ammonia was through the roof. Somewhere between 8 and 10.

So, I started changing out water and the ammonia wasn't dropping. A guy at one fish shop suggested these ammo chips to convert the ammonia into a non-toxic form. However, after a week or so of this, nothing was changing. Went to another store and they tested the water and said my ammonia was way high...but my nitrates and nitrites were non-existant. So...more or less...I had a brand new tank. They said the ammo chips were causing part of the problem because it would stave off my bacteria and they suggested that I remove it immediately and just power through the problem with water changes. They said, don't clean your gravel, don't change your filters....just leave it be so that the bio filter could establish itself.

Well, now nearly 3 weeks later and almost daily 1-2 gallon water changes....my ammonia levels are still at 4 and my nitrites and nitrates are non-existent. I'm happy the ammonia is going down...but seriously why is these non existent levels of everything else? My pH is running about 7.6...which is pretty normal at my house.

The only thing I am putting in the water (on a weekly basis is)....Microbe-Lift Special blend...which isn't a chemical..but rather just bacteria. 1 capful every weekend. It smells like raw sewage. Amazon.com: Microbe-Lift Special Blend for Home Aquariums: Kitchen & Dining

Anybody have any suggestions? I've had a tank in the past, and it was a 29 gallon tank which I had next to no problems with for 5+ years.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2010   #2
Airbot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Have any algae growth in the tank at all? Tried any live plants in it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2010   #3
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Algae growth=yes

Live plants--had some but they were dying a bit---so we removed them since i read that they can cause spikes in ammonia and waste in the tank.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


21 Aug 2010   #4
Airbot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Think you might be overfeeding? I have a 30 gallon, I use fine play sand filtered out as the substrate, and a couple volcanic rocks to keep it slighty acidic, but I keep a few cichlids. Don't ever have any problems running my setup.


Couple things I might try is dropping the feeding down if you might be feeding quite a bit. Try a different food brand. Add another bio filter and see how that pans out. Stop using that microbe lift. Try a different substrate - sand, etc. See what different results you get with that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2010   #5
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Airbot View Post
Think you might be overfeeding?
I dont' think so. I've cut back to once per day or once per every other day. And with their being only 2 fish, we don't give them much.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Airbot View Post
Add another bio filter and see how that pans out.
The only issue I have is with this being a 6 gallon tank with a full hood and everything else integrated..I don't have the ability to really add anything else.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Airbot View Post
Try a different substrate - sand, etc. See what different results you get with that.
Well, it's my daughters tank and she love the pink and white rock that she picked out. It might be quite a sell to convince her to go in another direction.

Thanks for the suggestions, I do appreciate it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Aug 2010   #6
Airbot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Yeah, the integrated hood is a pain for options. And it being a pretty small tank, the one filter should really be able to handle it but..

It sounds as if the major problems are slowly settling down anyways. I mean, are the fish dying left and right? If the fish are doing fine, I wouldn't get too concerned about it really. Try a different food brand or type, and stop using that microbe lift, and see how it turns out after a while.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2010   #7
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Airbot View Post
It sounds as if the major problems are slowly settling down anyways. I mean, are the fish dying left and right? If the fish are doing fine, I wouldn't get too concerned about it really.
No, in fact the only thing we lost was the algae eater. But when we replaced the algae eater with a new one, it died in less than 12 hours...so I knew something was really up with my water. So, we would like to add 1 algae eater and about 2 more fish...but I don't want to do this until the water is under control and safe.

I think I figured out something wrong that I was doing that probably didn't help. When I put the new water in, I poured in the dechlorinator into the tank directly...rather than into my replacement water and give it a few minutes to kill of the chlorine. I've got a strong feeling that my newly found bio filter keeps getting killed off in it's infancy with my frequent water changes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2010   #8
Airbot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Yeah, shouldn't be changing the water very often. Pretty much just fill it up with any evaporation, but don't recycle all the water. that will definitely screw it up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Aug 2010   #9
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Airbot View Post
Yeah, shouldn't be changing the water very often. Pretty much just fill it up with any evaporation, but don't recycle all the water. that will definitely screw it up.
Everything I have read mentioned that I have to get the ammonia out of the tank. I have been doing that with daily partial water changes. I'm taking out 1 gallon out of the 6 that are in there. I sometimes forget and it gets a change every other day...but i have been changing the water regularly. Once the tank evens out, I planned to more or less leave it be and do a 1 gallon change every 2-4 weeks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2010   #10
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

It's been over another week and my ammonia is at 4 and my nitrates and nitrites are virtually non-existent. I'm getting really tired of changing all of this water.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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